Kashif Ali has agreed a two-year contract with Worcestershire less than two month after becoming the first graduate of the SACA programme to sign a deal with a first-class county.
The batter, 24, initially joined Worcestershire until the end of the season, having bashed the door down through his weight of runs at second-team level.
"I'm delighted that the club have now given me a new two-year contract, and playing professional cricket is something I've dreamed of since first taking up the game," said Kashif.
"I just hope I can repay the faith the club have shown in me, and I will be focusing on continuing to improve and scoring as many runs as possible."
He has represented exactly a third of the first-class spectrum at second-team level during his career. Most of that time was spent with Essex and Kent, but there were early appearances for Leicestershire in 2017 and a spell with Nottinghamshire in 2019 that included two separate unbeaten hundreds but no offer of a professional deal.
This summer, he ended the second-team T20 tournament as its third-highest run-scorer, having impressed with both Northamptonshire and Worcestershire, before he was offered his first-team chance at New Road in time for the T20 Blast, where he scored 140 runs in six innings during a poor campaign for the county.
He followed that with a half century on his County Championship debut against Derbyshire, having scored more than 700 runs in his last seven red-ball games for Worcestershire's second team.
Kashif featured seven times in the T20 Blast (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
"I have to give our coaching staff some credit for that because he came here on trial here at Kadeer Ali's recommendation," said Paul Pridgeon, the county's cricket steering group chairman.
"He played for the South Asian Cricket Academy, and Kadeer said all the way through: 'This lad can play.'"
Upon joining Worcestershire, Kashif told The Cricketer: "I've always believed in my hard work, and I've put in a lot of hard work over the years because I so wanted to make it and to play at the highest level. I always thought it couldn't be too far away, because I'd always back my ability and my hard work. If you back your ability and you know you're good enough, then you have to keep on going, knowing that it will come through."
On the South Asian Cricket Academy, he added: "SACA have opened a lot of doors for a lot of players who want to make it and are trying to make it, and I honestly think that there's a lot of talent there and a lot of very good cricketers, who are very much capable of playing county cricket. I really hope that, and I really wish them the very best of luck. I'm really pleased that they're doing well, and I really hope that they make it."
Andy Umeed, another graduate of the scheme who previously played first-team cricket for Warwickshire, has since joined Somerset.
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